Now, I’m no comic, however I really feel inclined to share a joke with you to get issues began:
What did the dental scholar see on the North Pole?
The identical factor that you just’ll see once more this November — the Molar Bear!
At this time is Nov. 1, which implies welcome to Advocacy Month. In case you aren’t acquainted with the Molar Bear, she’s ASDA’s official mascot and is un-bear-ably cute! All through the month, she travels from chapter to chapter throughout the nation and encourages dental college students to get entangled with advocacy and deal with a few of its greatest questions like, what’s grassroots advocacy? Why is it vital? How ought to I get entangled? Keep in mind — these are some vital questions we’ll discover.
Once we final noticed our furry good friend, the world seemed a little bit completely different. COVID-19 compelled us out of our clinics and lecture rooms, and launched us into a brand new digital world. It was un-bear-able. Whereas our fireplace to advocate for our occupation and our sufferers refused to extinguish, advocacy in 2020 was a polar reverse from what we had been used to.
However these modifications weren’t fur-ever. The Molar Bear is popping out of hi-bear-nation simply in time to have fun. This yr, we’re able to take our advocacy to locations we by no means thought paw-sible. This yr, our efforts will concentrate on Getting Back to Our (Grass) Roots.
Are you continue to with me? Simply bear-ly? Okay, let’s break it right down to the bear minimal.
As a lot as Zoom allowed us to fulfill, strategize and collaborate, no Zoom assembly can exchange the facility of in-person grassroots advocacy. Grassroots advocacy means beginning domestically from the ground-up to affect points on the state or federal degree. We join with our friends to debate vital points affecting us right this moment as college students and tomorrow as dentists. Points equivalent to scholar debt, bear-iers to care and licensure reform maintain us bear-ied in thought on the energy of effecting change.
Chances are you’ll be questioning: How fur will these puns go? You wouldn’t bear-lieve now we have a couple of extra. Right here’s how one can get entangled this month.
To focus on how grassroots advocacy reaches all corners of the earth, we’re difficult each ASDA chapter to submit their most unusual, adventurous and inventive video to our “Oh, the Locations the Molar Bear Will Go” video competitors. Strike a paws with the Molar Bear at a park or in clinic, and present us all of the paw-sible locations the Molar Bear goes with you. We’re in search of fur-nominal movies, so that you higher high-tail it to your fur-vorite espresso store.
Not sure about how you can maintain an in-person advocacy occasion after a yr on Zoom? Bear certain to affix us for our chapter idea exchange on Nov. 9 at 7: fur-ty (7:30) Central time. Whether or not your chapter has had success with a “Crimson, White and Brews” occasion or an advocacy debate, carry your ideas and concepts as we brainstorm how you can bear-gin advocating on the grassroots degree.
In the end, this month is concerning the bear. Sorry, I imply this month is about you. Getting concerned in these discussions and constructing coalitions on the native degree are essential in our pursuit of change.
Tom Peters, acclaimed American author, said, “Group organizing is all about constructing grassroots help. It’s about figuring out the folks round you with whom you may create a standard, passionate trigger.” After a yr that so shortly separated us from our friends, let’s get again to our (grass) roots.
I’ll go away you with one final joke to kick off our advocacy efforts on a excessive word: What do you name a toothless bear? A gummy bear, after all!
~Jake Holtzmann, Colorado ’22, ASDA Council on Advocacy Chair